MONTVILLE, NJ – Montville Township Mayor Frank Cooney took to Facebook once again on March 27 to warn residents that their social distancing measures were not up to par. The good weather has brought residents out-of-doors, but instead of walking alone or as families, residents have been seen playing basketball and gathering in ways that at this point is ill-advised.

Cooney said that the township committee members take the health of all citizens very seriously, and on March 26, the U.S. became the country with the most presumed-positive Coronavirus cases in the world. New Jersey has the second highest number of presumed-positive cases with 6,876 and 81 deaths, he noted.

“Here in Montville Township, as of today, we have 16 presumed positive cases, and thankfully, no deaths,” he said. “The crush of the Coronavirus cases in the tri-state area is something that all of us must take as a life or death situation, and if you think that it can’t happen to you, even when you take precautionary measures such as I did, I assure you it can, and I am living proof.”

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Despite having closed down parks, playgrounds, buildings and facilities, Cooney said, officials have received numerous complaints of residents, young and old, outright disregarding these protective measures.

“Please understand, our staff are working very hard to assist those truly in need, and we cannot afford to take time away from our first responders’ essential duties to address those few residents who are violating the rules and therefore putting others within our community and themselves at risk,” Cooney said. “Although the elderly and the chronically ill are most affected by COVID, members of our community of all different ages are being affected, and some are battling for their lives. By following our safety guidelines, we will get through this together. Please remember, we all have to do our part, big or small.”

Having finished his prepared remarks, Cooney told residents, “I can’t stress to you guys enough – please – stay home, stay quarantined, and only go out if it's an emergency or if you have to go to one of the places of business that are still open. Montville Township is understanding and supportive of our local businesses and I would like to give you the opportunity, if you are a business in our community that is open, to please reach out to us on our township Facebook page or our township email. Tell us the hours and the services that you have available and we will make sure that TAPinto Montville keeps our list updated. We need to protect our businesses as much as we need to protect our residents.

“Thank you all for tuning in this morning and I hope everybody gets the message because yesterday was unacceptable. We had so many people out walking through our communities –  which is fine if you're maintaining social distancing – if you're walking down the street that's fine – but when you're congregating in our parks, when you have 20 kids in the middle of, say, Konnor Ave. hanging out, people having basketball games, people having football games, it's unacceptable. We can't. We can't do this to our first responders. We can't tie them up. Please parents: send this message home to [your kids]. Please stay inside.”

To view Cooney's address on YouTube, click here: 

Editor's Note: At the time of publication, there were 25 COVID-19 cases in Montville Township, according to the township website.

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